US stocks falter after jobs report



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Shares slashed gains early Friday after the monthly jobs report showed the United States lost jobs in December, as investors continued to anticipate the prospect of further fiscal stimulus.

The S&P 500 stock index rose 0.4% while the highly technological Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%, or about 20 points, driven in part by a drop in shares of industrial conglomerate 3M.

All three indexes closed at record highs on Thursday as investors focused on the potential for increased government spending after wins in second-round races in Georgia that will give Democrats control of the US Senate.

Meanwhile, the growing coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the economy. The Department of Labor report on Friday showed that the United States cut 140,000 jobs in December, ending seven months of job growth.

“So far, investors continue to look past the weakness of this report and other economic data as they are confident that more fiscal stimulus is coming,” said Michael Arone, strategist. Chief Investment Officer at State Street Global Advisors. “And as the vaccine is distributed, it will only be temporary and we will be able to get past the low number, hopefully in the not too distant future.”

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